Though her junior career was highlighted by being the singles runner-up at Wimbledon in 2001, Dinara actually turned pro in 2000. The Moscow native won the first of what would be many Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title in Sopot in 2002 as she made a steady rise up the rankings. She really hit her stride in 2008, recording a career-best four singles titles, winning the Tour's Most Improved Player Award and the Olympus US Open Series and finishing the year ranked No.3.
2009 was Dinara's best year on Tour so far. In addition to being a runner-up at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, she became No.1 in the world for the first time on April 20, 2009, making her and brother Marat the first brother-sister combo to achieve the No.1 ranking.
Dinara's success isn't limited to singles play. She won her first Grand Slam at the US Open in doubles in 2007 with Nathalie Dechy and reached a career-high doubles ranking of No.8 in May 2008. Another career accolade is representing Russia in the Fed Cup and the 2008 Olympics, where she won a silver medal in singles. She is currently coached by former ATP pro Davide Sanguinetti.
Tennis is obviously in the family's blood, as in addition to Marat being a pro, Dinara's father, Michail, is the director of a tennis club in Moscow, and her mother is a tennis coach. Her hobbies include going to the movies, listening to music and reading. She enjoys Russian, Italian and Japanese cuisine.
Q&A With Dinara
- Who were your favorite players growing up? Davenport, Henin
- Have you ever played against Marat? If so, how'd you do? Only in practice. I may have a chance if he plays with his left hand.
- How many hours a day do you usually practice when you don’t have a match? Four hours tennis, two hours physical.
- How many hours a week do you spend in the gym? Five hours.
- What do you consider your biggest strength on the court? Your biggest weakness? Strength: fighting spirit. Weakness: it's a secret.
- Do you play any other sports? Soccer.
- How many more years would you like to play on the Tour? Until I die.
- Where do you want to live when you retire? What do you think you'll do with your time then? Depends on the family. I want to have a family and raise children.
- Who is your best friend on Tour? Vesnina and Kuznetzova.
- I understand you watch a lot of TV during down time between matches. Do you have a favorite show? Desperate Housewives.
- Which actress would you like to play you if you ever had a movie based on your life? Hillary Swank. She was great in Million Dollar Baby.
- If you could pick one tournament to win, which would it be? Any one of the Grand Slams.
- Who are your favorite athletes or teams in other sports? Russian pole vault jumper Isinbayeva.
- What's something about you most people don't know? My personality and how I am in real life, off court.